John Walter Novak Sr.October 13, 1926 ~ July 24, 2014 (age 87)
Sand Lake - John Walter Novak Sr. of Millers Corners Road died on July 24, 2014 at the age of 87 surrounded by his family at Van Rensselaer Manor in Troy, NY.
John was born in 1926 in Cohoes, New York to his loving parents, Peter and Mary (Kulik) Novak. Growing up, he attended St. Michael's School and Cohoes High School. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 and was stationed in Guam. After his naval service he attended Troy Business College from 1947-49.
John married Norma D. Bunney of Poestenkill in 1954 and together they raised eight children. He enrolled in Siena College on the GI Bill attending classes at night while working days at the Watervliet Arsenal to provide for his growing family. After graduating with a degree in Accounting, he began a long career (34 years) with General Electric at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, working there as an accountant until retirement in 1986.
Faith was always an important part of John's life. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Albany in September of 1979 and assigned to St. Henry's Parish in Averill Park, New York. As a deacon, his roles of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) Coordinator, Pastoral Associate of Finance, and assisting with weekly masses allowed him to serve the community in many different ways. He found special joy in officiating at the marriages of several of his children and baptisms of his grandchildren. He was most content when making a difference in the daily lives of people in his community. He volunteered at CoNSERNS-U, a program for Catholic Charities in the Albany Diocese managing their finances/bookkeeping. Even after his retirement from the Diaconate program in 1996 at the age of 70, John continued to assist St. Henry's Parish with financial guidance and served on the Advisory Board at the Abba House of Prayer.
In addition to being survived by Norma, his wife of 60 years, John was a loving and caring father and grandfather to his surviving children and grandchildren. Children: John W. (Susan) Novak Jr., Wynantskill, James P. Novak, Watervliet, Mary Ellen Novak, Averill Park; Carol (Frank) Beleglow, Clifton Park, Nancy Novak, Averill Park, David Novak, San Francisco, CA, Michael Novak, Colonie and Norma A. Novak, Averill Park. Grandchildren: Justin O'Connor; Joshua King; Caleb, Nathan and Elijah Chin; Madeline and Olivia Novak and Lily and Noah Prashaw. He is also survived by his brother, Henry (Theresa) Novak, Cohoes; a sister, Helen Ketz, Hudson and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his siblings, Felix, Zygmunt, Frank, Edward and Stanley Novak and Isabelle Graham.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, August 5th at 10 a.m. at St. Henry's Church, 39 Old Route 66 in Averill Park, New York. A private interment will be held at St. Henry's Cemetery in Averill Park at the convenience of his family.
The family would like to thank all staff on the A-Wing of the third floor at Van Rensselaer Manor for their kindness, compassion and dedicated care of John. Also thank you to physical and occupational therapy staff for their rehabilitation efforts. Words cannot express our gratitude.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of John Walter Novak Sr. to the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center, 43 New Scotland Avenue, MC24, Albany, New York 12205.